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Title: Family business and crisis : a psycho-social perspective
Author: Brunner, L. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 5120
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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The aim of this research was to answer two initial key research questions: What can a psycho-social beneath-the-surface perspective contribute to a better understanding of and learning about family businesses where the public world (external) and the intimate (internal) world are so deeply interrelated? Which theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks help to understand family business and crisis? A starting assumption of this project was that, besides the business dimension, a quantitative rational approach alone would also not allow full grasp of the intensity of the emotions and affects at play in family business life. Therefore a psycho-social approach, through its commitment to psychoanalysis, to beneath the surface exploration and to other non-rationalist understanding of human phenomena together with a continuous interplay in bridging theory and practices in a systematic way, seemed the most appropriate methodology and method. The main bulk of this research comprises two case studies on two Italian family businesses, based mostly on primary data from field work collection and some secondary data analysis. In order to build the case studies, the main actors of each company were interviewed. A qualitative “Free Association Narrative Interview (F.A.N.I.)” approach (Hollway and Jefferson, 2000) based on a non-directive “life history” interview which elicits the stories of the interviewees, was used. The companies’ business data were analysed as means of triangulation, together with my own professional long term experience working with family businesses as a background source. Data analysis was carried out in order to build the storyline of the two case studies, through the identification of themes and associative thinking, and to compare the two case studies. Furthermore an original dynamic conceptual framework about crisis has been developed and applied to the field material that was collected. This research dissertation is an original contribution both conceptually to the topic of family business and crisis and in terms of application of a psycho-social methodology to a type of research object - family business - which had never been explored in psycho-social studies. This research confirms how a psycho-social approach contributes to identifying and shedding light on significant themes and findings on family business dynamics and crisis such as: the role of family in family business; family unity; generational transition and transgenerational trauma and pain; succession and Oedipal and sibling dynamics, trauma and crisis; ambiguity and crisis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available